Meet the Team

Jim Hughes
Jim Hughes

Jim is the Senior Responsible Owner for the Programme – he ensures the programme meets its financial and delivery objectives, manages the strategic risks and ensures the programme meets its purpose. Jim engages with regional and national bodies and other ICS partners to ensure all parties are sighted on progress and that the programme remains consistent with national direction.

Lisa A'Hearne
Lisa A'Hearne

Lisa is the CIPHA programme manager and is responsible for the coordination, management and delivery of CIPHA to each partner ICS. Lisa works closely with Jim Hughes to ensure strategic objectives are met and risks are raised, managed and mitigated. Lisa works with each stakeholder and provides senior management input from CIPHA.

Jo Gilmore
Jo Gilmore

Jo Gilmore joined the CIPHA Expansion team in April 2021 and manages the PMO function of the programme.

Syeda Akhtar
Syeda Akhtar

Syeda recently joined CIPHA as a use cases delivery project manager in June 2021. Syeda's remit is to oversee the management of CIPHA use cases delivery during the expansion phase and engage with stakeholders as part of transformational change with the aim of turning evidence and insight into action.

Hannah Maguire
Hannah Maguire

Hannah joined the CIPHA expansion team in 2020 and is the team admin and P.A. for Jim Hughes.

Suzanne Crutchley
Suzanne Crutchley

Suzanne is the CIPHA Data Protection Officer and is responsible for the Data Sharing Agreement Tiered Framework and associated Data Protection Impact Assessments. The tiered approach provides a governance framework to standardise procedures and processes when sharing confidential personal information between partners safely, where there is a lawful basis to do so. Suzanne works closely with Jim Hughes to ensure that data is only accessible on a strictly controlled need-to-know basis.

Iain Buchan
Iain Buchan

The Liverpool pilot of open-access, community-based testing for the virus that causes Covid-19 has now tested over 160k people using the Innova lateral flow device across Cheshire and Merseyside – people who live or work in Liverpool – and the test has picked up over 1200 individuals who did not know they were carrying the virus. This lateral flow test detects around two thirds of substantially infectious people whereas the PCR tests pick up around four fifths of people who have the virus. Lateral flow gives a result in half an hour, whereas PCR takes one or two days to return the result – time when the person who is positive may still be spreading the virus. The lateral flow test costs around £4 whereas the PCR test is at least 10-20 times more expensive. So, the lateral flow test can be used to test more people more quickly. As our region now moves out of lockdown into fewer restrictions there is a greater chance of spreading the virus, especially in places like hairdressing salons where there is prolonged close contact between people. So the Liverpool pilot is moving from mass testing to a targeted approach focusing on high transmission risks (e.g. hairdressing salons) and high consequence settings (e.g. care home visitors). Combinations of lateral flow tests, PCR tests and further precautions (e.g. PPE) are being used in high consequence settings such as care homes to minimise the risk of false negative results or false reassurance from negative results. All of this work needs intelligence on what works and what doesn’t in a fast-moving pandemic. So, the testing strategy is now called SMART (Systematic Meaningful Asymptomatic Repeated Testing). CIPHA has been extremely valuable for the teams on the ground, and national policy-makers, to adapt their tactics and plans according to the data. Each week the CIPHA intelligence is used to tune local and national plans to gain as much Covid-19 risk mitigation as possible from the tests available. This intelligence-led strategy will save lives and livelihoods.

CIPHA user experience

Gary Leeming
Gary Leeming is the Director of the Liverpool City Region Civic Data Cooperative and Senior Data Manager for ISARIC4C, based at the University of Liverpool. Formerly he was the Chief Technology Officer at the Connected Health Cities programme, developing technology and infrastructure for learning health systems and Trustworthy Research Environments, as well as investigating distributed ledger technologies for management of health data. Previously he was the Director of Informatics at the Manchester Academic Health Science Network working on digital innovation and health information exchanges, and has also worked on use of real world data in clinical trials on the Salford Lung Study and other projects.

Gary Leeming , Director of the Liverpool City Region Civic Data Cooperative and Senior Data Manager for ISARIC4C, University of Liverpool

Professor Iain Buchan
The Liverpool pilot of open-access, community-based testing for the virus that causes Covid-19 has now tested over 160k people using the Innova lateral flow device across Cheshire and Merseyside – people who live or work in Liverpool – and the test has picked up over 1200 individuals who did not know they were carrying the virus. This lateral flow test detects around two thirds of substantially infectious people whereas the PCR tests pick up around four fifths of people who have the virus. Lateral flow gives a result in half an hour, whereas PCR takes one or two days to return the result – time when the person who is positive may still be spreading the virus. The lateral flow test costs around £4 whereas the PCR test is at least 10-20 times more expensive. So, the lateral flow test can be used to test more people more quickly. As our region now moves out of lockdown into fewer restrictions there is a greater chance of spreading the virus, especially in places like hairdressing salons where there is prolonged close contact between people. So the Liverpool pilot is moving from mass testing to a targeted approach focusing on high transmission risks (e.g. hairdressing salons) and high consequence settings (e.g. care home visitors). Combinations of lateral flow tests, PCR tests and further precautions (e.g. PPE) are being used in high consequence settings such as care homes to minimise the risk of false negative results or false reassurance from negative results. All of this work needs intelligence on what works and what doesn’t in a fast-moving pandemic. So, the testing strategy is now called SMART (Systematic Meaningful Asymptomatic Repeated Testing). CIPHA has been extremely valuable for the teams on the ground, and national policy-makers, to adapt their tactics and plans according to the data. Each week the CIPHA intelligence is used to tune local and national plans to gain as much Covid-19 risk mitigation as possible from the tests available. This intelligence-led strategy will save lives and livelihoods.

Professor Iain Buchan, Executive Dean, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool

Matthew Ashton
Speaking about the role CIPHA’s played throughout the pandemic, Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health (DPH) for Liverpool said: “Directors of Public Health are sincerely thankful for all your hard work in establishing CIPHA. It’s an amazing achievement and the speed in which the Platform was set up [within three months], in the most challenging of circumstances, is truly outstanding and a testament to all involved. You’ve enabled DsPH, PH teams and strategic groups within the LRFs across C&M to have access to data that helps to inform their planning and understanding of the pandemic, which has been key for managing our System’s response to this crisis and will be equally instrumental in driving our COVID recovery moving forward.

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health (DPH) for Liverpool , Liverpool City Council

Dr Andrew Hill
CIPHA very quickly developed in a matter of weeks from a mere concept to a practical tool which can help inform key decisions when responding to Covid-19. It is enabling us to predict the pressures clinical teams will be placed under during the coming weeks, and better inform decisions about the surge capacity that needs to be put in place. Casemix data can help us understand how internationally identified trends, such as vitamin D status, the effects of social deprivation and frailty, impact patients in our local area.

Dr Andrew Hill, Chief Clinical Informatics Officer, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


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